Finnish authority orders fur farms to euthanise mammals infected with bird flu

Helsinki, Sep 14 : To safeguard public health, the Finnish Food Authority has ordered the country's fur farms to euthanise all foxes and raccoons found with signs of bird flu infections. This rule applies to nearly 115,000 animals (109,000 foxes and 6,000 raccoons), Xinhua news agency reported. According to the authority, investigations have revealed that bird flu is spreading among mammals in the country's fur farms. Initially, the order only related to minks, and the culling of foxes and raccoon dogs was discretionary. In a press statement on Wednesday, the authority said, "The longer the virus circulates in mammals, the greater the risk of contagious variants emerging that could affect humans." It also added: "To date, variants facilitating transmission to humans have been identified in six Finnish fur farms, affecting minks, raccoon dogs and foxes." Bird flu has been detected in 26 fur farms in the Finnish province of Ostrobothnia, resulting in the culling of nearly 135,000 production animals. /IANS


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